Skin Deep

The Luxi Look, Skincare Routine

Thinking back on my teenage years, I cringe when I think about how much of a slave to the sun I was. I spent every summer at the beach laying out, oftentimes with no sunscreen, and visited a tanning booth a handful of times (to be fair, there is zero sun in Minnesota in the dead of winter, and everyone looks better with a little bit of color, right?) Again, I cringe – my poor skin. Now that I’m in my mid-twenties, things are a little different to say the least. Suddenly I find myself focusing on every bump on my skin and staying up all night googling “what age to begin using Retinol”.

Skincare is just so personal. I love talking skin and makeup products with my girlfriends, but what I’ve found is that everyone’s skin tone and texture is so different and what works for your best friend really might not work for you at all. That being said, I still love reading about skincare regimes and have picked up a few tips and product recommendations over the years that have actually stuck.

I love trying new products and the idea of a comprehensive skincare routine, but ultimately I’m always rushing out of the house in the morning or struggling to just remove my makeup and wash my face some nights. So, what actually ends up happening is something like this:

  • Cleanser – I’ve been using Fresh’s Soy Face Cleanser for a couple of years now and it is the only product that I have multiple of (one in my gym bag, one for traveling, one for the bathroom). I’m not sure if this is the best cleanser for all needs, but I enjoy the smell and find that it is super gentle while removing most of my makeup easily. I remove the rest of my makeup with coconut oil.
  • Toner – after many years of trying different toners and speaking to estheticians, I still do not really understand what this does. To be honest, I’m not sure I can tell a difference in my skin from using toner either. Lately I’ve been using one from Nars, but it’s almost empty and I’m not sure what I’ll do after. 
  • Serum – Vitamin C is great for your skin – it’s an antioxidant that wards off free radical damage (read: helps prevent aging). I use Ole Henriksen’s Truth Serum and while it seems to give my skin an immediate glow, I am crossing my fingers that its benefits will be felt (and seen) years down the line.
  • Moisturizer – I’ve been reading about Korean skincare and their 10 step skincare routine seriously amazes me (read more about it here). Their skin is seriously amazing and dewy, I can only dream that one day attain it myself, perhaps with more discipline. For now, I’m easing into it by using some Korean products. I really like this moisturizer from Belif – if you have really dry skin like me, I highly recommend. Before this moisturizer I went through 3 containers of Kiehl’s Rosa Artica Cream which I loved as well (great for snowy winters).
  • Sunscreen – this is one that I do every. single. day. Find a great sunscreen that you use only on your face and neck – I love this one by Kiehl’s, it’s SPF 50, super sheer, and a bottle lasts forever (unless you’re like me and spill half a bottle in your purse). 

It sounds a little more impressive than it is when it’s all written down, but I often skip the toner and serum because I get lazy. I try not to hoard too many skincare products at once because 1. I like consistency and 2. they often go bad before I can use them up. So that’s the daily routine, when I have a little extra time and patience I add:

  • Eye Cream – I really should be using this more frequently, since the skin around your eyes is so delicate and prone to wrinkles. I picked up Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado – it’s very rich which I love, it feels more substantial that way. 
  • Masks – I love sheet masks, if for nothing else the amusement I get from startling my boyfriend when I walk out of the bathroom. I’ve been experimenting with different ones and bought the SK-II masks that everyone raves about – they make my skin a little more glow-y and plump, but to be honest I was really expecting more. I love Lush Masks as well, just make sure you keep them in a refrigerator and use within a week because they do expire. Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay is amazing for cleaning your pores, I personally found it a little drying but totally recommend if you have oilier skin or just want a deep cleaning – you cannot beat it for the price! 
  • Water – Hydration is key. I drink my weight in ounces every day and it is beneficial on so many levels, but I really do see a difference in my skin when I am well hydrated.
  • Sleep – so cliche but it’s true, your skin will glow if you get enough sleep on a consistent basis (7-8 hours is ideal).

Nothing crazy (yet), although it continues to change over the years and sometimes even seasonally. Could probably use a good facial more often, but I feel like there are already enough beauty appointments to keep up with – the joys of being a girl! Am I missing anything? Is the 10 step skincare routine really worth it? Would love to hear your thoughts and recs!

Suede

The Luxi Look, Fall Style

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Suede A-Line Skirt

The Luxi Look | Fall Stlye, Suede A-Line Skirt

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Suede A-Line Skirt

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Suede A-Line Skirt

Needless to say, the 70’s trend has been one of my favorites this year. I can’t seem to get enough of bell bottoms, fringe, and suede. A-line skirts have been everywhere this fall, but it’s not too late to get one if you haven’t yet. I love this particular suede button down skirt from Mango and found it more affordable than some of the other suede options out there. Living in LA provides the added bonus of transitioning skirts into winter when you pair them with a cozy sweater as the weather cools down. Shop similar styles below:

top: j. crew | skirt: mango | shoes: acne | sunglasses: illesteva

Lazy Sunday

The Luxi Look | Winter Style, Aritzia, One Teaspoon

The Luxi Look | Winter Style, Aritzia, One Teaspoon Freebirds, Fall Style

The Luxi Look | Winter Style, Aritzia, One Teaspoon

The Luxi Look | Winter Style, One Teaspoon Freebirds

Sundays are typically a day of rest and relaxation for me. I like to wind down the weekend and prepare for the upcoming week. Some of my favorite things to do on a Sunday –  

Visit the farmer’s market: Hollywood has one of the largest farmer’s markets in all of LA. I love picking up whatever fruits and vegetables are in season (right now I’m loving persimmons, sweet potatoes, and the last of fall’s apples) and a bouquet of fresh flowers. The prepared food vendors are fantastic as well – look for the tamales and fresh squeezed lemonade.

Work out: Strenuous exercise most likely won’t happen. Realistically, I’ll take a walk to Runyon with my boyfriend and hike there. I also love hot yoga – it is amazing for clearing your mind and skin. These activities leave me energized and ready to take on the week.

Cook: Weekday dinners are far from elaborate – I’m usually starving by the time I get home and don’t have the energy or patience to cook for myself. I try to make up for my lack of cooking during the week on the weekends – it’s also something fun to do with your significant other. My apartment has quite the collection of cookbooks now. My current favorite: The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook.

Sunday outfits tend to be equally laid back and forgiving. This oversized knit is perfect for running errands and lounging around. I’ll swap out my stretchy pants for cropped denim when I leave the house. Add your favorite booties or sneakers and a hat and you’re good to go.

sweater: aritzia | jeans: one teaspoon | shoes: acne

Staycation

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Stone Cold Fox

The Luxi Look |The Line Hotel

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Stone Cold Fox, Isabel Marant, Illesteva Sunglasses

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Isabel Marant, Stone Cold Fox

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Stone Cold Fox

 

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Angie Kim Bucket Bag

The Luxi Look | Fall Style, Stone Cold Fox, Isabel Marant, Angie Kim Bucket Bag, Illesteva

I bought this dress earlier in the year and it immediately became one of my fall favorites. The subtle print and bell sleeves caught my eye, but what I really love is how comfortable and versatile it is. I refuse to buy something and only wear it once, so this dress has been adapted again and again – with a blazer for work, over the knee boots for date night, and lace-up sandals for weekend brunch. Here I’m wearing it with my wear-with-everything ankle boots for an easy weekend look in the middle of a bizarre November heatwave.

This past weekend was spent at the cutest hotel – The Line in Koreatown. As much as I love traveling to new places, there’s something so relaxing about vacationing in your own city and exploring a different neighborhood. If you’re visiting LA or just looking for a fun staycation, I highly recommend The Line. I couldn’t get enough of the view outside the room – LA is truly such a beautiful city.

dress: stone cold fox | shoes: isabel marant (similar here) | sunglasses: illesteva | bag: angie kim (sold out, similar here)

Beijing

I got back from Beijing a month ago and now that I’m finally uploading my photos from the trip, I thought I would share a few. Although I was born in China, I moved to the US when I was really young. Needless to say, going back is a bit of a culture shock, even for me. My boyfriend came along for the trip, and while we spent most of the week with my family, we were able to mix in some tourist attractions in between. We got really lucky with weather for the most part (with the exception of some particularly bad pollution, as you can see in some of our photos) and were able to spend our days exploring the city, sightseeing and enjoying amazing food.

The Luxi Look | Forbidden City, Beijing

The Luxi Look | Forbidden City, Beijing

The Luxi Look | Summer Palace Beijing

The Luxi Look | Park Hyatt Beijing, Beijing at Night

The Luxi Look | Beijing, Peking Duck

The Luxi Look | Beijing, Great Wall of China

The Luxi Look | Beijing, Forbidden City View

 

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